The provision of healthcare to offenders was formally transferred to the NHS in 2006. It is now mainly handled by primary care trusts and specialist mental health trusts.
Hill Dickinson has a wealth of experience in providing specialist advice and training to those who deal with healthcare in prisons.
We can advise on all the obligations of a primary care trust in terms of commissioning offender health services. This includes the risks of commissioning and contracting and the issues involved in entering into contracts in the offender setting. We also provide advice on deaths in custody, mental health issues, litigation (including clinical and non-clinical claims). Further support is available with data protection and freedom of information/confidentiality in the prison setting.
Mental health is a particular issue affecting offender healthcare. 90 per cent of the offender population have a diagnosable mental health problem and 2 per cent of remand offender will attempt suicide. It is therefore vital that offenders' mental health needs are adequately assessed and identified.
Hill Dickinson can advise on policies and procedures for dealing with mental health issues, including training for staff on the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. We also advise on managing the complex needs of offenders who are at risk of self-harm. We also advise on hospital transfers under Section 47 orders.
Our extensive experience of dealing with coroners’ inquests means we can advise and support clients through the complex process of dealing with a death in custody.